Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Christmas Reminder of God's Promises To Us

Merry Christmas to all of you!  I just love this time of year, don't you?  To me it's special because I know I'll be baking cookies with the kids and gathering with my family and friends over special, time honored recipes and traditions while celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Which brings me to the reason I'm writing this post today, to discuss the Christmas Story, the beautiful story we find in the books of the Bible known as the Gospels, about how a virgin named Mary was to be blessed by God to carry God's own son, Jesus.  We all know it by heart, I'm sure, but it's one of those stories that I love to hear unfold over and over, time after time.  Each time I read it to my kids, or read it to myself, I find something new or special, a hidden gem, or maybe a forgotten one.  You know, like when you watch your favorite movie and each time you notice something different.  Yeah, like that!

Little back story here, my grandfather on my mother's side was named Simeon.  Our oldest son has the middle name Simeon—to honor my grandfather and to have a living reminder of another man named Simeon who has a very touching role in the Christmas Story.  This brings me to my 'new ' favorite part of the story of Jesus' birth and something that proves just one more time, as if we needed it, that God always keeps his promises.

"Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout.  He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ.  Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts.  When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arm and praised God, saying:
          "Sovereign Lord, as you have 
            you now dismiss your servant in 
            For my eyes have seen your salvation,
               which you have prepared in the sight 
             of all people,
            a light for revelation to the Gentiles
            and for glory to your people in Israel."

I'm not sure if I'm more amazed by God's promise to Simeon or to Simeon's reaction after he gets to hold baby Jesus.  Simeon recognized God's sovereignty and his promise and then he says, "...you now dismiss your servant in peace..."  I can't honestly read that part without tears welling up in my eyes.  I can't also help but be reminded of the peace that my soul feels when he says that.  I feel a surrender or a freedom that you can't get anywhere else.  Reminds me of the song, "It Is Well With My Soul", because, it was well with Simeon that he had lived his life completely fulfilled.

The next sentence proves to be even more powerful, "...for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people..."  Simeon knew he was blessed, privileged even, to have actually looked into the face of God in the flesh.  I can't even begin to imagine how awesome that must have been.  I love how the salvation was for all people.  Not exclusive to the rich or the pharisees, no 'white privilege' in that statement.   We are all created equal in the sight of God.

I pray that we all find the same fulfillment that Simeon found; the kind of fulfillment that comes from a relationship with Jesus.  I also hope that by reading this that we're reminded again of how God keeps his promises to us; the promise of salvation and the promise of eternal life and how awesome that it will be when we are all called home to heaven to see the face of Jesus. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Time Rewind: A Look Back at My First Year With Texas GOP Vote

We're gonna party like it's 1999...Wait, not really.  As radio stations and music video shows do year end countdowns, I thought I would do a play on a countdown, sort of a look back, at my time as a blogger at Texas GOP Vote.  It's a fun look back at what I've done and which posts got the most attention and which ones, although they may have been my favorites, did not get quite as much attention as I thought they would.

I'll mix it up and start off with some of the not so popularly viewed ones beginning with my personal blog, "Politics and Motherhood: Making It All Work" which was a post about my decision not to run for a party elected position.  It wasn't an easy decision, but as I said in that one particular blog, "Politics will always be there, however, the youth of my family will not."  It only had about twenty page views total.

My very first blog for Texas GOP Vote was titled, "Everything's Bigger In Texas-Including Government" and that had 300 page views.  If you don't remember what that was about, I wrote it about the medical directives and end of life care and the changes that the state was trying to make to laws regulation patient choices when it came to care of their loved ones.  Some argued the new bill would make things better, but I disagreed, and still do.  Thankfully, the bill didn't make it out of committee, so nothing to worry about.  Until the upcoming session starts, that is.

Think back again to the 83rd legislative session, the sweeping pro-life bill that got held off until the very end and caused quite the stir at the capitol building in Austin.  Yep, SB 5 as it was referred to then, was something that I wrote about and that article had almost 1900 page views!  If I remember correctly, after "Will SB5 Have a Fairy Tale Ending" was published, the article made it to the top of Google news.  Needless to say, I was stoked!

Fast forward a bit to the special session that was called as a result of the failure to pass the pro life bill I referred to in the paragraph above, I wrote yet another article titled, "While Texas Senate Talks About Abortion Bill (HB2), Let's Talk About Sex "  Yeah, I did.  I wrote about how abstaining from sex takes abortion out of the equation.  Save yourself for marriage and no need to worry about perceived overreach of the government.  Heh.  That one got over 5200 views and nearly broke the server at Texas GOP Vote.  That was a home run blog that only took thirty minutes to write.  Hey, when you're hot, you're hot!

 If you haven't already figured out that I'm an advocate for citizens to get involved in their local government, then you haven't been reading my stuff!  To back up that claim, my article titled "March 2014 Texas Primary: Why Local Elections Matter" got almost 1300 page views!  Surprised me a little that so many people were interested in that same topic.  Glad I was able to write it and share!

More local involvement blogs revolve around the race for the Harris County GOP Chair position, a campaign that I was involved in heavily.  I titled the blog, "Is Harris County GOP Low Hanging Fruit for the Democrats?" That particular article got about 225 page views, which I was very proud of.  That is one of my favorite articles because it was about a campaign I was very passionate about.  I'm also proud to say that we did elect a new county chairman and as a result of that election, Harris County stayed Republican 'red'!  Paul Simpson is the leader that we needed and still need to keep us going in the 'right' direction.

A few more blogs I'd like to highlight that are recent additions to my repertoire are all about Common Core and the Glenn Beck event.  I was fortunate enough to be chosen, along with four other bloggers, to be present during the Make Common Core History Event put together jointly by Glenn Beck and FreedomWorks.  I did some preparatory work for myself and my readers before the event and the article titled, "Common Core FAQ's: Your Questions Answered" had over 1900 page views. Sweet!

I've had some more additions since I got the stats from Texas GOP Vote, mostly centered around the Texas House Speakers Race; Scott Turner vs. Joe Straus.  I am firmly on Team Turner, and win or lose, I'm proud to say that Ive been a part of their team and all of the hard work we've done together.  My first article titled, "Turner vs. Straus: Who Will Emerge Victorious?" had almost 250 page views, followed by "Is It Murphy's Law To Support Joe Straus" had almost 200 page views.

My work here within the conservative political movement is far from over, however.  This is my first year and a half with Texas GOP Vote and I didn't share all of my blogs.  Thanks to all of you out there who have read and shared and 'liked' my articles.  Thanks to those who have even disagreed with me and shared their views. No such thing as bad publicity, right?   Head on over to www.texasgopvote.com/users/kelly-horsley and check out the rest of my work.  Hope you like!